Our Water System
Brooktrails water source is comprised of two reservoirs totaling 400 acre feet on Willits Creek
and a tributary. Lake Emily feeds Lake Ada Rose before transfer to the Water Treatment Plant.
Lake Ada Rose
Water System and Tank Locations Map
Brooktrails water system (the "System") facilities include a water treatment plant
with the design capacity of 1.2 million gallons per day (MGD), 60 miles of water mains, 24 water tanks with 1.7 million
gallons of storage and 18 pump stations. The average daily demand on the System is 240,000 gallons per day.
As you might expect, with 60 miles of water mains we
frequently do maintenance and repairs. See our
page for notifications of repair and maintenance work that
may affect water service.
The Township regularly gathers water samples throughout the
60 miles of water distribution system. Those samples are
Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, that
may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems,
agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.
Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, that can
be naturally-occurring or result from urban stormwater
runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil
and gas production, mining, or farming.
Pesticides and herbicides, that may come from a variety of
sources such as agriculture, urban stormwater runoff, and
Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and
volatile organic chemicals, that are by-products of
industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also
come from gas stations, urban stormwater runoff,
agricultural application, and septic systems.
Radioactive contaminants, that can be naturally-occurring or
be the result of oil and gas production and mining
You can review or download our annual
Consumer Confidence Report which contains test results and related information.
A WATER EMERGENCY HAS BEEN DECLARED
On April 1, 2015, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. ordered the
first-ever statewide mandatory water use reductions. See the
news release and
A water emergency has been declared in the Brooktrails Township
limiting water use by each Brooktrails water customer. As of
January 13, 2016, the limit has been revised to
gallons per day or 7,500 gallons per month.
To help our community save water, visit
our links to useful water conservation information.
Because of the impact of the statewide drought on the Eel River,
on June 30, 2014, the State Water Resources Control Board
(SWRCB) issued a
Curtailment Order affecting Post-1914 Water Right
Holders which includes Brooktrails. While that order
was lifted October 24, 2014, they are evaluating flows
for the 2015 year (see the
SWRCB website for updated information). At that
website this graph of their analysis for 2014 is available
which gives some insight into the water rights management
problems facing the State as does this Willits News
Study shows pot is sucking the Eel River dry :
The following graph indicates 2015 flow data, which unfortunately indicated that 2015 flows
(in red) for most of the year were
well below 60 year median (in gold), below 2013 (in purple), and
sometimes below 2014 (in blue):
On October 17, 2014, an order
establishing a moratorium on new water connections was issued by the SWRCB to all the municipal water providers around the Little Lake Valley including the Brooktrails
Township, the City of Willits, and Pine Mountain Mutual Water Company. Copies of the orders may be
downloaded from the
SWRCB web site which indicates an additional 19 other water systems around the
state received such orders at that time.
The Brooktrails order can be viewed
here. For information
For irrigation purposes only, permits for rainwater
collection and storage tanks can be obtained.
a sample plan prepared by the District Architect containing
installation suggestions. For information
Water Supply Enhancement
In December 2013, the Township Board initiated water
conservation measures as Township policy.
At the present time, the Township is relying upon mandatory
water conservation as described above. Some residents have
installed rainwater collection and storage tanks. But these
measures do not constitute a desirable a long-term solution.
So also in December 2013 Township officials at the direction
of the Township Board began working with State officials to
develop a water supply enhancement project.
Water Resources Control Board - Division of Drinking Water has accepted the Township's
request for funding for ground water exploration and possible development of
one or more wells should the
exploration phase locate sites that could be developed.
Phase one of the project has been funded through a grant from the public water system drought
emergency response program in the amount of $60,000. Should phase one of the project yield positive
results the Division has advised the Township that it would fund phase two of the project.
The obvious objective of enhancing our water supply is to
supplement the surface water supply collected in Lake Emily
and Lake Ada Rose. The source of that surface water supply
is Willits Creek surface water flow,
part of the Eel River watershed. As noted above, the extended drought in
2013-14 resulted in unusually low flows in the Eel River
creating a "sharing" problem between the many community and
agricultural users and between human uses and the needs of
fish and wildlife within the watershed. As described above a
water emergency has been declared, the State has found it
necessary to issue orders with regard to water rights on the
Eel River, and it appears that this
situation may continue.
One suggestion is that Brooktrails obtain groundwater
from wells in the Little Lake Valley, either
directly or from the City of Willits. That may be the
only long-term solution to securing a water supply
sufficient to support buildout in our community. It
would be very expensive to construct a pumping
station, storage tanks, and pipelines to implement that
solution. Pumping that water up to Brooktrails would require
significant use of electricity at a significant cost.
Historically, springs have fed Willits Creek in the summer
in significantly varying flows. Anecdotal information
indicates that in the 1930's many springs temporarily dried up
and after the 1944 wildfire some dried up and never came
back. In terms of a more immediate
need to supplement our surface water supply, it may be
possible to tap the sources of springs within the
Brooktrails area of the Township. Finding that
groundwater in adequate, reliable quantities is complicated
within California's Coast Range.
Within the Coast Range groundwater usually occurs in two main forms.
Unconfined groundwater occurs generally in valleys such as the
Little Lake Valley, where the flow of subterranean water is not
narrowly confined by the presence of relatively impermeable layers.
The presence of an impermeable layer beneath groundwater can cause
the formation of a perched water table, frequently elevated some
distance above the surface's main water table. Springs that flow
from underground to the Earth's surface are often formed when a
perched water table intersects the surface.
The study might locate a large perched aquifer. But
as noted above in our region these sources are unreliable as
they can dry up in droughts.
If the study determines that the main aquifer
adequately extends under a portion of Brooktrails, a deep well
likely will be
In an October 2014 Township Board meeting Township Manager
Denise Rose presented a
providing a full explanation of the project along with cost
information regarding an intertie with the City of Willits. At
its February 24, 2015, meeting the Board received from Manager
Rose a report
providing an update on State funding for the project.
Further updates will be posted here as soon as the monies become
available and phase one begins. In the meantime many may find the
1987 Department of Water Resources groundwater study
describing the Little Lake Valley geology, groundwater, and
groundwater quality conditions prepared for the City of
Willits interesting and informative.
Rain On Demand
In another development, in December 2014 Township officials
were approached regarding a possible rainfall-by-ionization
In January the Township Board
requested staff to arrange for a presentation at a future
You can learn more about this proposed pilot
project from the January 23, 2015
report which includes a PowerPoint presentation and two news
regarding the installations elsewhere.